Friday, April 23, 2010

The Deadline Dash!

re: JUST IN TIME!!!:
I got this announcement JUST in time to include in today's posting!
For all our readers in the Wildwood, New Jersey area ... and there seem to be quite a few of you out there ... you won't want to miss the big '60's Weekend kicking off tomorrow.
Here's the latest word from our Cool Scoops Buddy, Paul Russo:
Hey Kent,
Just a cool reminder.
This weekend is our 60's Weekend down here in Wildwood NJ.
Gary Puckett, The Grass Roots and Paul Revere and the Raiders.
Gary will be here with us at Cool Scoops on Saturday (see poster)

to receive the Wildwoods Music Award.
Thanks to our friends at Rewind Radio, Jimmy Jay and crew.
Pictures of the event to follow next week.
Paul / Cool Scoops

And, of course, Cool Scoops is the PERFECT place to stop before or after the concert ... ALWAYS a fun time (and a tasty treat!!!) Thanks, Paul! (kk)


Well, you can't say that we didn't give you enough notice about THIS one!!! (lol) We go from a "Deadline Dash" to tell you about this weekend's Wildwood '60's Weekend to an announcement we received yesterday about a show coming up NEXT JANUARY!!!

Mark your calendars for this one, folks ... sounds like a goodie!
Music/Arts - Concert
Date: Sunday, January 30, 2011
Time: 7:30pm - 10:30pm
Location: B.B. KING BLUES CLUB 237 West 42nd Street NYC
Description: The original lead singers of The Outsiders, The Buckinghams, Climax, The Cuff Links and The Archies: RON DANTE, DENNIS TUFANO, SONNY GERACI and BO DONALDSON + THE HEYWOODS


We've been stock-piling these for a while now ... but the GOOD news is that ALL of Ronnie's shows are archived on his website ... which means that you can listen to all kinds of great musical memories, interviews and artist profiles anytime you like. Here are just some of the more recent artists he's had on his program ... LOTS of great shows to choose from ... and they're all available on his JerseyGirlsSing website, which is accessible here: ... check back often to hear ALL of the great interviews that Ronnie has done over the years. Meanwhile, here's the scoop on some of the latest:

Hi Kent!
It was such a joy doing this show with Broadway and recording star Robin McNamara, a man who is a kid at heart and describes himself as "Ol' Hippie"!
You might say that in Robin's case art imitated life. Because he appropriately landed a major starring role on Broadway as one of the two male leads in the smash ground-breaking Broadway music "Hair." He played Claude Hooper Bukowski. And, forty years later, he amazingly can still sing one of the most popular tunes from the show, "Manchester, England," fantastically as he proves in his a capella performance here!If you're wondering if Robin participated in the famous nude scene from that show, I will tell you that "Claude" did NOT participate in that but I will also tell you that what I just said is NOT necessarily a "NO"! Robin gives the complete lowdown on what he either did not do or did!
Broadway success was only one of his accomplishments. Shortly before performing in "Hair," he had landed a recording deal with Jeff Barry and Steed Records. And, while he was starring on Broadway, that came to fruition as Robin climbed the chart with a big hit that he co-wrote with Jeff called "Lay A Little Lovin' On Me."
Robin is an immensely versatile singer and songwriter and we feature several of his other recordings during this show.
And, among other interesting tidbits, Robin tells an amazing story about a cross-country trip that he made with his wife and Jeff Barry and the late Bobby Bloom. I would describe that as a "hair-raising" experience with pun surely intended.
Recently Robin recorded a remake of "Lay A Little Lovin' On Me" which was produced by Ron ("Archies and Cuff Links") Dante; I've included it as a bonus track. Robin also recently did several recordings in Florida, one of which (about two rock and roll legends) closes the show.
Suffice to say that the "Ol' Hippie" is not at all ready to retire!
Following is a list of the tracks in sequence, including the two bonus tracks. All are by Robin McNamara except as noted otherwise.
1 Lay A Little Lovin' On Me (the beginning loops underneath my introduction)

2 Be-Bop-A-Lula (excerpt) -- Gene Vincent

3 I Can Love You

4 Lila (excerpt)

5 Lay A Little Lovin' On Me

6 Got To Believe In Love

7 Lost In Boston

8 Mary, Janey and Me

9 Chapel Of Love (excerpt) -- Robin & Jo

10 The Prophet & The King (edit)


BT Lay A Little Lovin' On Me (remake)

BT Stuck In The 60s
This Robin McNamara radio interview show was recorded exclusively for the "Jersey Girls Sing" website. The Home Page of that website is

The following link will get you directly to my Radio Page, which is a part of the website and which contains this latest show and all of my previous ones.

Ronnie Allen

Hi Kent,

I am so pleased to announce my latest show with a man who is a member of the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. This show was a joy for me on so many levels. I grew up listening to and loving the music of the Platters and followed their career with anticipation and awe. Their legendary hits have more than merely stood the test of time: they are classics."Only You" and "The Great Pretender" and "The Magic Touch" and "Twilight Time" and "My Prayer" and so much more.

The original five Platters who sang all those hits were lead singer Tony Williams, tenor David Lynch, baritone Paul Robi, contralto Zola Taylor and bass singer Herb Reed.The recent passing of Zola left Herb as the only surviving member of the original hitmaking group. It was an honor and a thrill to do this super-sized show with Herb, the man who founded the group, came up with the name "Platters," and sang on every single one of the group's 45 charted hits including all those in the late 60s with new lead singer Sonny Turner. And he's STILL a Platter, touring with a group called "Herb Reed and the Platters."

And on at least one very notable occasion, during the glorious 50s, Herb was the lead singer. His deep bass voice opened and closed their hit "You'll Never Never Know." But he also was the lead singer from beginning to end on the Platters version of the Tennessee Ernie hit "Sixteen Tons." Yes, of course, that's included in the show. I don't want to give too much away. There are many surprises during this show and I want all of you to be surprised as I was! But I'll throw a few teasers your way:

(1) What was the connection between "Only You" and Zsa Zsa Gabor?

(2) What hit recording session did their producer / songwriter / manager Buck Ram storm out of because he was not happy with what the group were doing?

(3) What is the ONLY song that Tony Williams felt that he could REALLY sing? Hint: it was NOT one of their big hits.

(4) How does Herb feel about the bogus "Platters" groups that have been a thorn in his side for years?

(5) Will you be able to figure out what I felt it necessary to bleep out toward the end of the show?

I am most grateful to Herb Reed for his generosity, warmth, sense of humor and total honesty during this show.I enjoyed spending the time with him so very much.Following is a list of the tracks in sequence. Because the show is "super-sized" (75 minutes) there are no bonus tracks.

1 Opening: The Magic Touch: live performance by the Platters at an Alan Freed show (edit)

2 I'll Be Home For Christmas (excerpt) -- Bing Crosby

3 Only You (Federal records version) (excerpt) -- The Platters

4 Only You (Mercury records hit version) -- The Platters

5 The Great Pretender -- The Platters

6 The Magic Touch -- The Platters

7 My Prayer -- The Platters

8 You'll Never Never Know -- The Platters

9 Sixteen Tons -- The Platters (Herb Reed on lead!)

10 Twilight Time (excerpt) -- The Three Suns

11 Twilight Time -- The Platters

12 Smoke Gets In Your Eyes -- The Platters

13 Enchanted -- The Platters

14 ????? mystery song ????? -- The Platters

15 I Love You 1000 Times -- The Platters

16 With This Ring -- The Platters

17 Remember When -- The Platters

Note: #14 (the mystery song) is the answer to teaser #3 above: it's the only song that Tony Williams felt he could REALLY sing! (He confided this to Herb).

This Herb Reed radio interview show was recorded exclusively for the "Jersey Girls Sing" website. The Home Page of that website is The following link will get you directly to my Radio Page, which is a part of the website and which contains this latest show and all of my previous ones.

Ronnie Allen

Hi Kent!

I'm delighted to tell you and all of your readers about my latest radio interview show. It's with international singing star Trini Lopez.

Trini's story is truly a rags to riches saga. And he admits during this interview show that, were it not for a well-deserved spanking that he received from his father, his career might not have ever happened!

From his offical website ( "Trini was a poor boy from the barrio of Dallas, Texas. He remembers barely enough food for the family, the amount always determined by his parents' ability to get whatever work they could. 'They worked and struggled together just to survive,' he recalls. 'They plowed fields together. My mother washed clothes in the neighborhood for extra income. You cannot imagine how hard it was.' Trini has made 'lemonade' from a life that began with nothing but lemons!"

After Buddy Holly died, Trini was offered the chance to become the lead singer of the Crickets! But, as he told me, he had no choice but to walk away from that opportunity.

It didn't really happen overnight but he became an "overnight sensation" and catapulted to international fame after being discovered by Don Costa, signing a long-term deal with Frank Sinatra's company Reprise Records and recording a live album at a nightclub where he had been working for many months. That album was "Trini Lopez At PJ's." His single "If I Had A Hammer," his live remake of the Peter, Paul and Mary Hit, reached #3 on the American chart and #1 in 36 countries. It was the start of a very successful career in which he had many more hits, both in America and overseas, and recorded an almost unbelievable total of 85 albums! He also appeared in several motion pictures, including being "the dirtiest of 'The Dirty Dozen'"! He also has hosted several TV shows and won many awards.He is one of the most exciting musical performers on the horizon and also one of the nicest guys in show business.

Following is a list of the tracks in sequence. Because the show is "super-sized" (70 minutes) there are no bonus tracks. All tracks with the exception of #2 are by Trini Lopez.

1 America

2 If I Had A Hammer (excerpt) -- Peter, Paul and Mary

3 If I Had A Hammer

4 Kansas City

5 What Have I Got Of My Own

6 Michael

7 Lemon Tree

8 I'm Comin' Home, Cindy

9 La Bamba - Part I

10 Sinner Man

11 Guantanamera

12 Sugar Sugar (en Espanol)

This Trini Lopez radio interview show was recorded exclusively for the "Jersey Girls Sing" website. The Home Page of that website is

The following link will get you directly to my Radio Page, which is a part of the website and which contains this latest show and all of my previous ones.

Ronnie Allen

Hi Kent,

I have loved the Four Lads close to 60 years and I am delighted to let you and everyone else know that I have posted my interview show with Frank Busseri, one of the four founding members of the that classic group.

For years I have wondered: who are the two uncredited girls on the Four Lads' biggest hit "Moments To Remember"? I'm talking about the one who opens the record with "January to December, we'll have moments to remember" and the one who, midway through, utters the words "the drive-in movie where we'd go and somehow never watched the show." I need wonder no more. I got the answer from Frank, one of the four founding members of the group who, like the other three, sang on all of their 27 charted hits. Of course that answer is revealed during the show.

The members of this group, who in 2009 were inducted into the Hit Parade Hall Of Fame, grew up together in Toronto, Canada. They were Jimmy Arnold, Connie Codarini, Bernie Toorish and Frank Busseri.Believe it or not, they originally called themselves The Otnorots! That sounds pretty strange until I tell you that "Otnorot" is "Toronto" backwards. Okay, it STILL sounds pretty strange! They started their incredibly-successful recording career in 1951 when Mitch Miller recurited them to do backup for a then-unknown singer named Johnnie Ray on two sides of a single. "Cry" (#1) and "The Little White Cloud That Cried" (#2) sold over two million records and opened the door for the Four Lads to became major stars on their own.

Three of their big hits in the pre-rock were in the novelty vein and you'll hear them on this show: "Istanbul (Not Constantinople)," "Gilly Gilly Ossenfeffer ..." and "Skokiaan." But in the rock era they changed their musical direction and became more successful than ever.

In 1955 they recorded their classic "Moments To Remember." Subsequently they had hits with other ballads including "No, Not Much!", "Who Needs You" and "Enchanted Island." Showing amazing versatility, they had also had big hits with uptempo songs such as "Standing On The Corner" (that's Frank Busseri singing lead), "There's Only One Of You" and several others.

There's much more to their story and I'll save it for the listening. Their fantastic recordings are timeless and Frank is the epitome of the word "classy"!Following is a list of the tracks in sequence. Because the show is "super-sized" (70 minutes) there are no bonus tracks. All tracks, except as noted, are by the Four Lads.

1 Gilly, Gilly, Ossenfeffer, Katzenellen Bogen By The Sea (excerpt)

2 Cry (ending) -- Johnnie Ray with the Four Lads

3 The Little White Cloud That Cried (ending) -- Johnnie Ray with the Four Lads

4 Turn Back (excerpt)

5 Istanbul (Not Constantinople)

6 Gilly, Gilly, Ossenfeffer, Katzenellen Bogen By The Sea

7 Skokiaan

8 Moments To Remember

9 No, Not Much!

10 Standing On The Corner

11 My Little Angel

12 The Bus Stop Song (A Paper Of Pins)

13 Who Needs You

14 I Just Don't Know

15 There's Only One Of You

16 Enchanted Island

17 The Mocking Bird (1952 version) (excerpt)

18 The Mocking Bird (1956 version)

19 Put A Light In The Window

This Four Lads (Frank Busseri) radio interview show was recorded exclusively for the "Jersey Girls Sing" website. The home page of that website is and clicking on the picture of the Four Lads will get you directly to my Radio Page, which is a part of the website and which contains this latest show and all of my previous ones.Or you can get there directly by clicking the following link:

Ronnie Allen

Hi Kent!

I just posted a fun radio interview show that I recorded a couple of weeks ago with Dodie Stevens, the "Pink Shoe Laces" girl.

There are several artists, as you know, who have one or a few hits and then simply disappear. Dodie is not one of them!

Dodie, born Geraldine Anne Pasquale, was a singing prodigy at the age of four and she is still singing today. In 1954, at the age of eight, she recorded her first song, "Merry-Go Merry-Go Round" and then performed it on Art Linkletter's "House Party." She wasn't "Dodie Stevens" then. She was using the name "Geri Pace."It was a local TV show that she performed on a couple of years later which led to the record that made her an overnight star. "Pink Shoe Laces" was, of course, a silly novelty song but it became a huge hit and, 51 years after peaking at #3 on the Billboard Hot 100, it remains one of the most memorable novelty hits of the rock era. (Interestingly Joel Whitburn does NOT consider it a novelty.)

With its success at the age of 13, Dodie became the youngest female vocalist to have a million-selling record and she still has that distinction today.In addition to that record, we play her four other chart records on this show. One of them was the title song of a major motion picture starring the great comedian Danny Kaye in the role of a legendary band leader.

In addition to having hits, Dodie appeared in three movies, did commercials, recorded three albums as part of Sergio Mendes and Brasil '77 and for several years worked as a singer-dancer for Mac Davis. She also recorded two albums with her daughter Stephanie. We play tracks from each of those and you will truly be amazed at Dodie's versatility. None of those tracks sound at all like "Pink Shoe Laces"! The two still are performing together.

Dodie is much more than simply the record she is best-known for and she was a total delight to interview. Following is a list of the tracks in sequence including the two bonus tracks. Except as specified otherwise, the billing is "Dodie Stevens."

Notes:"AKA Stevens" is a band fronted by Dodie and her daughter Stephanie. Tracks #8 and #9 are from their CD entitled "Outlaw Of The Heart. "Track 10 is a medley of three songs from Dodie and Stephanie's CD "Life Is A Song Sing-Along." "Geraldine Stevens" is Dodie recording using her original first name.

1 Pink Shoe Laces (excerpt) [opening of show]

2 Pink Shoe Laces

3 Yes - Sir - ee

4 The Five Pennies

5 No

6 Yes, I'm Lonesome Tonight

7 Trade Winds

8 Magdalena -- AKA Stevens

9 Stonewall's Hymn -- AKA Stevens

10 Medley: I Am Happy / Life Is Good (Theresa's Song) / Time To Go To Bed -- Dodie and Stephanie Stevens

11 Mairzy Doats


BT Miss Lonely Hearts

BT Billy, I've Got To Go To Town -- Geraldine Stevens

This Dodie Stevens radio interview show was recorded exclusively for the "Jersey Girls Sing" website. The home page of that website is and clicking on the picture of Dodie will get you directly to my Radio Page, which is a part of the website and which contains this latest show and all of my previous ones. Or you can get there directly by clicking the following link:

Ronnie Allen

Hi Kent!

I'm really excited to announce my latest radio interview show that I did for the Jersey Girls Sing website. It's with two members of the Fireballs, founder George Tomsco and lead singer Jimmy Gilmer. They are one of few acts in the rock era to achieved multiple hits with instrumentals and with vocals.

This group took their name from a monster Jerry Lee Lewis hit. You can probably figure out which one! Originally hailing from Raton, New Mexico in the late 50's, the Fireballs were New Mexico's first rock and roll recording band to become internationally known. They got their big break in 1958 when they auditioned for Norman Petty. The legendary producer was overwhelmed by their style, simplicity and the musical feel in which the group performed original guitar instrumentals and vocals written by group founder / guitarist George Tomsco and lead singer Chuck Tharp. Norman signed them and in January of 1959 they released their first record on Kapp records, titled (appropriately enough) "Fireball." That record achieved regional success and set the stage for several instrumentals which hit the national top 40, namely "Torquay," "Bulldog" and "Quite A Party." That in turn set the stage for their blockbuster hit, "Sugar Shack," which was #1 for five straight weeks in 1963 and was the biggest record of the entire year.

They had acquired a new lead singer and their billing on that hit featured his name: "Jimmy Gilmer and the Fireballs." There's more to the story (including another huge top ten hit) but I'll leave it to George and Jimmy to fill you and othe in on all the details. And there are many amazing ones.These guys enjoy what they do immensely and have deservedly achieved international success and have been popular for over 50 years. They are truly a class act in every way!

Oh, one more thing before I list the lineup of records played during the show. "Sugar Shack" was an incredible smash. So why did George and Jimmy think that producer Norman Petty had ruined it?

Following is a list of the tracks in sequence including the two bonus tracks. Except as specified otherwise, the billing is "the Fireballs."

1 Fireball (excerpt looped under my introduction!)

2 Fireball (complete)

3 Cry Baby [note: Chuck Tharp sings lead]

4 Torquay

5 Bulldog

6 Quite A Party

7 Sugar Shack -- Jimmy Gilmer and the Fireballs

8 Daisy Petal Pickin' -- Jimmy Gilmer and the Fireballs

9 Ain't Gonna Tell Anybody -- Jimmy Gilmer and the Fireballs

10 Bottle Of Wine

11 Come On, React!

12 Everybody Should Have Lived In The 50s


BT Long, Long Ponytail [note: Chuck Tharp sings lead]

BT Red Cadillac And A Pink Mustache -- Jimmy Gimer and the Fireballs

This Fireballs radio interview show was recorded exclusively for the "Jersey Girls Sing" website. The home page of that website is and clicking on the picture of the Fireballs will get you directly to my Radio Page, which is a part of the website and which contains this latest show and all of my previous ones.Or you can get there directly by clicking the following link:

Ronnie Allen

Whew!!! (Welcome to Ronnie Allen Day here in Forgotten Hits!!! Lol) Hey, some GREAT stuff up there on the site ... and our oldies fans / readers will just LOVE checking some of this out ... so enjoy!!!

Have a Great Weekend, Everybody!!!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Worth Listening To

Here are some programs oldies fans out there may wish to check out over the next few days:

(Actually in a matter of minutes, depending on what time you're reading this!!!)
The long-awaited Jim Shea interview with comedy legend Tommy Smothers takes place this morning (normally between about 7:20 am and 8:00 am Central Time ... so if you're reading this as I'm posting this, you'll need to click on over REAL soon!!!) But, if you miss today's interview, I'm sure it'll be replayed this Saturday Morning on the brand new "Best Of Jim Shea" Program at Y103.9.
Click here: Homepage - Y103.9

This Friday night my show should be really special.
Stu's Pop Shoppe is on Friday nights from 7 PM till 3:01 AM
It all happens at
When our site comes up, pick the player that matches your computer.
Here's this week's schedule:
7:00 / 9:00 A mixture of the 50's and 60's. Many songs that you won't hear anywhere else. I call it The Greatest Songs That Ever Lived.
9:00 / 10:00 A phone conversation with Barry McGuire.
What a career this man has had over the years. He sang with The New Christy Minstrels,
he had a solo career. Some of his songs were backed up by The Mamas and The Papas. I've spoken to Barry a couple of times already. He is a most interesting person and has lots to talk about. You might want to check out his website
10:00 / 12:00 I'll dig out some material from my Doo Wop garage. This week I'll be including some early recordings that a friend transferred from his 78 rpm records. Do you remember what 78's were. They looked like flying saucers. They had a small hole in the middle and more often than not sounded scratchy!!!!
12:00 / 1:30 It's Midnight Country. Let's remember when country music was really country. Part of this segment will feature the western swing of Hank Thompson.
1:30 / 3:01 AM We'll finish up the night with more music from the 50's and 60's with a touch of the 40's.
All you have to do is get a front row seat by your computer and I'll do all the work.
You can also try getting into our chatroom for contact with other listeners.
You must be here Friday night because I don't want to be alone.
Sincerely yours,
Stuart Weiss / DJ STU

Hi Kent.
I will be playing 70 of the top 104 i.r.s. hits on my show this weekend. I will also feature artist interviews and Rich Appel's coments throughout the evening.

Wrco FM

Unfortunately, no live stream on this one ... but if you live in the Richland Center, Wisconsin area, you CAN pick this up on WRCO-FM, 100.9 FM. Meanwhile, it sounds like Phil's had some pretty interesting shows lately!!!
Recent and future guests on my show include three artists with new releases for 2010. They include Billy Joe Royal, out is out with a new cd call 'Hard Rock to Roll'; former Paul Revere and the Raider Freddy Weller ... he has some great stories from those old days ... he helped Tommy Roe write Dizzy while Tommy was the opening act for the Raiders and our country format is playing Freddy's new song 'Your Memory Walks Through Walls'; and Andy Kim, recently inducted into the Hit Parade Hall of Fame, has a great cd new release called 'I Forgot to Mention'.
All three cds are available from the artists respective web sites.

You can also catch Rich Appel's Top 104 I.R.S. Countdown here:
Bob Radil’s Friday Night 60s-70s Show ... just click on the Oldies Message Board

The True Oldies Channel is doing their "Rock And Roll Zoo" weekend, featuring song titles and artists with animal names in their title! You can always Listen Live here:
Click here: True Oldies Channel

And ... in OTHER radio news ...
Rook on parade on Internet
By Richard Wagoner
(Los Angeles Daily News, 04/09/2010
You may not know the name John Rook, but you probably know his work.
Rook is the man who made KFI (640 AM) what it once was: one of the last of the bigger-than-life AM powerhouses, when he programmed it as a high-energy top-40 station from 1976 to 1992.
He also programmed WCFL - Chicago's Voice of Labor, as it was called due to its ownership by the Chicago Federation of Labor - as a top-40 leader in the 1970s.
Rook knows radio. Good radio. So when he launches an Internet-based music station, people take note.
His latest creation is Hit Parade Radio, available at
Longtime listeners of Southern California radio may remember that Rook used the idea of a hit parade when he was at KFI. This time it isn't current music he is focusing on, but rather oldies.
"While most `oldies' stations feature just a few hundred hits aimed at a younger demographic, Hit Parade Radio relies on thousands, beginning with the '50s for a 30-year period," Rook said, adding that the format "concentrates on the highly underserved listener, those over 45 years of age."
Those underserved listeners represent a growing demographic, and one with money, according to the Hit Parade Web site. These people use the Internet, surf the Web longer and go to more pages than their college-age peers.
What better way to reach them than to use the Internet, playing the songs they grew up with? Well, maybe. The problem with Internet-based radio stations is that it is more difficult than traditional radio to take the music with you, since you need an Internet connection wherever you want to listen.
But Hit Parade has this covered as well: It is working on signing up affiliates to carry the programming on local stations. In fact, the great Wink Martindale, one of the on-air talents of the station, told me the Internet stream is a "test stream," and that the station is looking to do a nationwide launch this summer.
Along with Martindale (on air from 8 a.m. to noon, local time), the station's on-air talent includes legendary Chicago superjock Larry Lujack (noon to 4 p.m.). The variety of music is impressive - check it out and let me know what you think.

From Rob Feder's column:
On May 2, 1960, a skinny kid from Endicott, N.Y., arrived in Chicago and signed on at WLS-AM (890) as the new Top 40 station’s nighttime screamer. Five decades later, Radio Hall of Famer Dick Biondi, 77, is still playing the music that rocked Chicago — from 7 to 11 p.m. Monday through Friday on oldies WLS-FM (94.7). To celebrate the 50th anniversary of Biondi’s debut on WLS, the Citadel Broadcasting station will air a not-to-be-missed live special from 7 p.m. to midnight on May 2. Biondi will host the five-hour Sunday night extravaganza, featuring appearances by celebrities and highlights of memorable moments in his career. “We’re proud and privileged to have Dick broadcast on our station every night,” said Michael La Crosse, operations director of WLS-FM. “He still sounds as great now as he did then.”
We've already heard from a number of our "Local Heroes" planning on attending and participating in this very special tribute. You can Listen Live here:
Click here: 94.7 WLS-FM

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Thinking Out Loud

Random thoughts and observations from the past few days ...

We've been watching The T.A.M.I. Show quite a bit lately ... some OUTSTANDING performances by the likes of Lesley Gore and The Beach Boys (among many others) ... yet most of the attention seems to be focused on James Brown.
If you're one of those who've always wondered what all the excitement was about, THIS is the program to watch. "Electric" doesn't even begin to describe this performance.
Over the years, we've all seen the bits where he keeps being escorted off stage, wrapped in his cape, only to charge back out there to sing just a little bit more ... and honestly, during this T.A.M.I. performance, Brown drops to his knees more often than Monica Lewinsky ... in fact, this clip is SO crystal-clear thanks to impeccable restoration that you can actually see the shiny spots on his knees from all the time he spends there during this performance.
It's an absolutely AMAZING and riveting performance. If you haven't seen this yet, check your local PBS Station for future airings ... or, better yet, go out and BUY a copy of this DVD so you can watch it whenever you want. What a line-up:
Chuck Berry, Gerry and the Pacemakers, Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, Marvin Gaye, The Supremes, Billy J. Kramer and the Dakotas, Jan and Dean, Lesley Gore, The Barbarians, The Beach Boys and The Rolling Stones ... all performing together on the same stage ... it makes for great, repeated viewing as this film captures many of these acts in their absolute prime.

I'm sure that most of you by now have heard about the recent lawsuit filed by Pink Floyd against EMI Records for releasing their catalog for digital downloading. Pink Floyd maintained that they recorded ALBUMS ... a collection of work designed to be heard at one time, at one sitting ... and that by breaking these pieces of artistic work into individual song fragments "cheapened" their musical intention and integrity. This music simply wasn't designed to be "fragmented" ... and they didn't feel that the record company should be editing their art.
All valid points ... kudos to Pink Floyd for taking a stand, arguing their case and then actually winning this case for the good of the music.
Here in Chicago, The Drive, the premier Classic Rock Station, has recorded a nice little drop-in piece commending Pink Floyd for their action ... summing the whole thing up by stating that this is one of those RARE instances where "the love of music" outweighs "the love of money." A very powerful statement by a rock station that cares and has always put the music first.
Of course then they follow up this powerful piece by playing an isolated, individual track by Pink Floyd ... which completely defeats the entire purpose of what Pink Floyd went to court to do!!!
Cheers to The Drive for acknowledging and commending Pink Floyd's position and educating their listeners in the process ... jeers for completely missing the point!
(Did you guys REALLY not get this?!?!?)
Now granted, Pink Floyd's album cuts have played independently for the past 37 years on Classic Rock Radio Stations all over the country ... and, despite the fact that they were not a "singles" band ... (ALSO a big part of their argument in court) ... they did, in fact, place two singles in The National Top Ten, including their first hit single "Money" from their landmark album "The Dark Side Of The Moon", quickly approaching 800 weeks on Billboard's Album Chart, and "Another Brick In The Wall" from their classic LP "The Wall", a single that actually went all the way to #1 on Billboard's Singles Chart ... and stayed there for four consecutive weeks!!!
A bit hypocritical of The Drive to salute the band for standing up for their principles ... and then playing EXACTLY what that same band DIDN'T want the public to have access to play ... but there's no denying the impact these two albums had on the record-buying public.
(Now I'm off to watch "The Wizard Of Oz" with my very special Pink Floyd / Dark Side Of The Moon soundtrack!!! Gonna try to squeeze this in right after I watch The T.A.M.I. Show one more time!!!)

We've received a number of complaints recently from some of our local readers regarding the poor quality and limited choices of Chicagoland Radio these days ... many feel radio quality here in Chi-Town is at an all-time low ... so we've been doing more than our usual share of button-pushing lately trying to find some listening choices that we can recommend to our hometown readers.
Working in a "no radios allowed" enviornment (that's almost like being told you're not allowed to breath in any air for the next eight-to-ten hours for a music freak like me!), we've had to limit the bulk of our critiques to morning and afternoon drive ... but we HAVE found a few programs that we enjoy listening to in the car these days.
I've always enjoyed our FH Buddy Jim Shea's morning show on Y103.9 but unfortunately he's out of listening range after the first ten minutes in the car (and the static is SO bad that even trying to listen through it has become virtually impossible), so we've heard less and less of his program lately. (We WILL be tuning in tomorrow, however, to hear his interview with Tommy Smothers ... guess I'll be getting into a work a little bit later than usual on Thursday!!! lol)
Always big on "appointment radio", I try not to miss "Smackdown With Showbiz Shelley" over at B-96 every morning between 7:15 and 7:20 ... a listener goes up against resident show-biz expert Shelley on five Pop Culture Questions of the day ... where even the losers win great prizes. (Good thing since Shelley's record is something like 74-2 as of this morning!!! lol)
The most consistently entertaining program I've found, however, is Valentine in the Morning at (of all places) The Lite, 93.9. Valentine has a very likable demeanor, plays GREAT adult contemporary music in the morning (I have a whole new appreciation for some of the current hits of the day ... once you weed out all the angry rap and hip-hop crap, there are some REALLY good pop songs on the radio again!), and he always seems to hit on a topic that interests not only me but the dozens of other listeners who call in every day to voice their own personal experiences regarding whatever buzz he's got going on that morning. Seriously, give it a listen ... I haven't popped in a CD in weeks now ... and that's really saying something.
At the OTHER end of the spectrum, however, is Dave Fogel, the new morning guy over at WLS-FM, (94.7), who is, without a doubt the WORST morning man EVER in the history of WLS Radio, AM or FM ... his program truly is unlistenable. (Other True Oldies Channel listeners nationwide and worldwide get Scott Shannon 24/7 over the Internet ... although Scott, too, has been missing from the airwaves more often lately, working on so many other projects. When I am able to listen during the daytime hours of 10 am - 2 pm, it's a pretty safe bet that Shannon's on my radio, alternating with Bob Stroud over at the aforementioned Drive (97.9) when Scott goes into his long commercial breaks or plays the same frickin' songs I've already heard eight times this week again ... remember when The True Oldies Channel first started and they boasted a playlist of something like 1800 songs? I swear they're back down to the same 200-300 that everybody else plays these days, other than some killer listener requests, an occassional novelty tune or instrumental or "The Cheezy Easy Listening Song Of The Day" which THIS week featured "Old Rivers" by ORIGINAL rapper Walter Brennan!)
Speaking of Oldies Requests, there isn't ANYONE better on the Chicagoland dial than Jeff James over at Y103.9 ... I swear Jeff is determined to play every single record in his personal collection and, as such, we are treated to ALL kinds of goodies that don't typically receive airplay. He does the "All Request Live Drive At Five" but his regular program is also filled with oldies rarities, heavy on The Forgotten Hits, as is his Saturday Night Live At The Seventies program, featuring nothing but '70's music (including some that I'VE never even heard before!!!)
Click here: Jeff James 3pm-7pm, Saturdays 7p-Midnight - Y103.9
Evenings we have a great choice of Dick Biondi on WLS-FM (again playing tracks you haven't heard on the radio for 30-40 years ... although admitedly some for very good reason!!!) or Tom Kent at Y103.9, always entertaining, quick on the banter with all the listeners who call in their requests and just a fun guy to listen to.
Chicago Radio is better than you think ... if you simply know when and where to listen. Hopefully some of our local readers will check out our choices and get back to us with some positive listening experiences. All these stations have "Listen Live" links on their websites or can be tuned in at the frequencies listed above.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

This And That

On the 50th Anniversary of his death, Programming Guru John Rook recently posted a very moving tribute to his boyhood friend Eddie Cochran ... LOTS of great memories and some incredibly rare photos ... you can check it all out right here:
Eddie Cochran: Fifty Years and we still “Don’t Forget” him.

Have you heard about the new John Lennon Singles Bag (limited edition): Capitol / EMI

Individually numbered Kraftpak envelope with button & string closure; custom plastic adaptor hub; 24" x 36" poster + three postcards; Three 45 RPM vinyl singles with replicated original artwork:
Single 1: John Lennon "Mother" / Yoko Ono "Why"
Single 2: John Lennon "Imagine" / John Lennon "It's So Hard"
Single 3: John Lennon "Watching the Wheels" / Yoko Ono "Yes, I'm Your Angel"
Dave Beard / Endless Summer Quarterly
Actually, no, I hadn't heard about this .. thanks, Dave!

Here is an updated list of artists expected to be appearing at the first-ever Rock Con coming up this summer:
Here is an updated list with a few omissions of the "guest rock artists attending WOAHRS". Some of the artists cannot be announced as yet. Ticket information is also included and thanks for your support of the upcoming show.
George Dassinger
The three-day fan fest, Rock Con: “Weekend Of A 100 Rock Stars” is turning into one of summer 2010’s most anticipated music events. Tickets for the 3-day show (July 30 – Aug. 1st ) at the Meadowlands Sheraton in E. Rutherford, NJ, are modestly priced on a daily basis and there are special “Silver Record” discounts available now in regards to entire weekend packages – (203-795-4737).
The current “Rock Guest List” includes some of rock’s great voices, instrumentalists, one hit wonders, TV personalities and radio disc jocks.
This is a partial list of confirmed “rock stars” attending “Weekend Of A 100 Rock Stars” in alphabetical order:
Davie Allen & The Arrows – classic instrumentals and soundtracks – “The Wild Angels”
Mary Balin – vocals (along with Grace Slick) in Jefferson Airplane - Jefferson Starship
Sid Bernstein – legendary rock impresario, manager and promoter
Beverly Bremers – hit single “Don’t Say You Don’t Remember Me” 1972
Pete Bremy – Vanilla Fudge – Cactus (bassist) – originally from Paterson, NJ
Glen Burtnik – Electric Light Orchestra – Styx – member of LaBamba And The Hubcaps
Freddie Cannon – hit single “Palisade Park” 1962 (written by Chuck Barris)
Kristen Capolino – 19 year old singer / songwriter / guitarist – “All That I Am”
Peppy Castro – Blues Magoos vocals and guitar wiz
Clay Cole – The Clay Cole Show (1959-68) – the rock and roll studio dance TV show
John Ford Coley – hit single “I’d Really Like To See You Tonight” 1976
Clarence Collins – Little Anthony & The Imperials – 2009 Rock HOF inductee
Gene Cornish – The Rascals (guitarist) -1997 Rock HOF inductee
Ron Dante – The Cuff Links – The Archies lead singer - #1 hit in 1969 with “Sugar”
Dinky Dawson – rock’s most famous sound man – The Beatles, Led Zep, Pink Floyd
Pat Dinizio & The Smithereens – the NJ band posted “Rock Con” on their site recently
Walter Egan – hit single “Magnet And Steel” 1978 – a gold record went to #8
Fanny – original “mothers of chick rock” 1970-75 – WB Records
Dennis Ferrante – recording engineer and Grammy winner 2000
John Ford – The Strawbs – joined in 1970 adding his percussive style to the band
Pete Fornatale – WFMU – WNEW-FM radio personality – “Mixed Bag” radio specials
Robert Gordon – hit singles “My Gal Is Red Hot” – “It’s Only Make Believe” 1976-78
“Little Anthony” Gourdine – Little Anthony & The Imperials – 2009 Rock HOF inductee
Gerrit Graham – “Beef” in “Phantom Of The Paradise” – co-writes with Bob Weir
Barbara Harris – hit single w/The Toys “Lover’s Concerto” 1965 went international
Greg Hawkes – The Cars (keyboards) was the backbone of the quirky group from Boston
Pat Horgan – Thunder Road’s lead singer / guitarist – played with the Talking Heads
John Idan – The Yardbirds – 1992 Rock HOF inductee – rejoined in 1994 as lead vocalist
Tommy James & The Shondells – multiple hits – “Hanky Panky” 1966 (14 Top 10 hits)
Jay & The Americans – multiple hits including “She Cried” 1963 (12 Top 10 hits)
Eddie Kelly – American Bandstand the regular everyone remembers – late ‘50s - ‘60s
Bruce Kulich – Kiss 1984-96 – joined Grand Funk Railroad 2001
Bryan Laye – “Tangerine Lane” 2009 LP – recently recorded with Dave Mason
Ian Lloyd – Stories – “Brother Louie” 1971 - co-founded with Michael Brown / The Left Bank “Walk Away Renee” fame
Vince Martel – Vanilla Fudge’s lead guitarist – born in the Bronx, toured with Hendrix
Spanky McFarlane – Spanky & Our Gang - Mamas & Papas vocalist extraordinaire
Ian Mitchell – Bay City Rollers 1976 – “Saturday Night” 1976
Rick Mullen – Commander Cody – Don McLean – Van Morrison – Savoy Brown
Alannah Myles – hit single “Black Velvet’ 1989 - still a haunting radio song today
David Peel – David Peel And The Lower East Side – legendary New York band
Andy Pratt – hit single “Avenging Annie”1973 and more than a one-hit wonder
Paul Peterson – hit single “My Dad” 1962 - starred in the “Donna Reed Show” 1958-66
Louise Robey – hit single “One Night In Bangkok” 1984 (written by ABBA)
Harriet Schock – wrote the hit single “No Way To Treat A Lady” 1975
Nelson Slater – “Wild Angel” LP produced by Lou Reed is a collaboration to note
Earl Slick – David Bowie – John Lennon (featured guitarist) - journeyman
Ronnie Spector – multiple hits including “Be My Baby” 1963 – 2007 Rock HOF inductee
Tom “T-Bone” Stankus – Dr. Demento – the comedic “Existential Blues” 1980
Kasim Sultan – Utopia – Meat Loaf - bassist and lead singer - journeyman
Terry Sylvester – The Hollies – 2010 Rock HOF inductee – replaced Graham Nash
Livingston Taylor – hit single “I Will Be In Love With You” 1970 – brother of James
The Angels – hit single “My Boyfriend’s Back” 1963 – they’re featured in “Jersey Boys”
The Delicates – “Submarine Race Watcher’s Theme” and grew up in Belleville, NJ
The Fifth Estate – hit single “Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead” 1967 – an international hit
The 1910 Fruitgum Company – “Simon Says” 1968 went to #2 – pre-British invasion
The Human Beinz – hit single “Nobody But Me” 1967 - featured in 2004 “Kill Bill” film
The Rip Chords – hit single “Hey Little Cobra” 1964 - worked with Terry Melcher
The Soul Survivors – “Expressway To Your Heart” 1967 sold a million copies
Jonathan Tiersten – Jonathan Tiersten And The Ten Tiers – Queens-own born and bred, Jonathan is a singer / musician / actor (hint: name “Ricky” mean anything?) now leading his own band, Ten Tiers.
Dean Torrence – Jan And Dean – pre-dated The Beach Boys 1963-64 with hits and tragedy - “Dead Man’s Curve”
Tuff Darts – Tommy Frenzy – John DeSalvo – J, Morrison are back
Hilton Valentine – The Animals (guitarist) – 1994 Rock HOF created a riff copied still
Gary Von Scyoc – Elephant’s Memory – John Lennon’s band – featured on Lennon’s “Live in New York” and The Mike Douglas Show w/John and Yoko
Jane Weidlin – The Go-Go’s – “Our Lips Are Sealed” 1982 – she wrote the song, too
Shaun Weiss – “Elvis” on Pee Wee’s Playhouse – “Greg Goldberg” in Mighty Ducks - his father was the accountant for The Beatles, Nat Weiss
Johnny Winter w/guitarist Paul Nelson – two legendary guitarists – “Live / Johnny Winter And” (1971) is Johnny’s best and Grammy nominated “I’m A Bluesman” which features Paul Nelson, is his best – meet them in person.
PR Contact: George Dassinger 973-890-1008
Sounds like a pretty amazing event ... thanks for keeping us posted, George! (kk)

And, since I see that Walter Egan is going to be there, let's revisit this one one more time!

>>>I thought I still had a snippet of us doing "Magnet And Steel" on the computer but I couldn't find it. (kk)
Attached is Blind Spot's version of Magnet and Steel for you's guys.
Hey, look at that "handsome" drummer ; )

Sent in (of course) BY that handsome drummer ... I believe this is a full rehearsal of the song! Thanks, Cookie! (kk)

Hey Kent,
I finally made it through your series on Chicago band the Flock and have a couple of things to add. First, I have a stock copy of "Tired of Waiting" on a Columbia 45, so it was issued to stores. It also credits the Flock as composers. England and Canada both put it out, as did Holland, Germany, Italy, Malaysia and Spain, the latter five all with picture sleeves. As for singles from the second album, "Dinosaur Swamps," I have a promo copy of "Mermaid" b/w "Crabfoot," both songs written and arranged by the group. Holland had a picture sleeve with their release, as did Germany. "Clown (Parts 1 & 2)" was issued as a single with a picture sleeve in France. All these records were on local Columbia labels.
"Dinosaur Swamps" and "The Flock" were both issued on vinyl and 8-track at the time they were first released. Australia had a vinyl version. Germany and Holland each issued the double LP package which included the first two albums. These were also all on Columbia.
Arnie Roth is currently the music director and conductor for the Chicagoland Pops Orchestra, which calls the Rosemont Theater its home.
By the way, the correct descriptive title for my affiliation with the Illinois Entertainer is former long-time Editor. Ken Voss was the founder and original publisher. Thanks for taking the time to put together a great, informative piece.
Guy Arnston in Algonquin
(Former long-time Editor of The Illinois Entertainer)
Thanks, Guy ... knowing your affiliation with all of our Local Heroes, that means a lot! (kk)

I just got this list from one of our readers ... I just love "fan countdowns" and have done a couple of interesting ones myself over the past few years. (Check out The Forgotten Hits Web Page to see recent tabulations of our readers' All-Time Favorite, Forgotten B-Sides and Instrumental Hits!!!)

Click here: Forgotten Hits - Your Top 200 Favorite, Forgotten B-Sides
Click here: Forgotten Hits - Top 40 Instrumentals, 1955 - 1979
Click here: Forgotten Hits - Top 20 Favorite Psychedelic Songs
Hot on the heels of Rich Appel's Hz So Good / I.R.S. Countdown (It Really Shoulda Been A Top Ten Hit) comes THIS tabulation from Philadelphia's Bruce Scott:

© 1980, 2005 Bruce Scott - May not be stored, forwarded, or retransmitted without express permission
•Most-requested oldies on the Bruce Scott Friday Night Oldies Show which aired on WPWT (FM), Philadelphia, PA from June 1978 through February, 1980
(Tabulated from actual listener requests • [Ties broken by popularity among station staff])
2. A TEENAGER IN LOVE - Dion & The Belmonts
3. MY GIRL - Temptations
4. SINCE I DON’T HAVE YOU - Skyliners
8. IT’S ONLY MAKE BELIEVE - Conway Twitty
9. BUILD ME UP, BUTTERCUP - Foundations
10. SILHOUETTES - Rays / Herman’s Hermits (combined*)
11. OPUS 17 (DON’T YOU WORRY ‘BOUT ME) - Four Seasons
12. SAD GIRL - Jay Wiggins
13. TEARS ON MY PILLOW - Little Anthony & The Imperials
14. BRISTOL STOMP - Dovells
15. ROCK AROUND THE CLOCK - Bill Haley & His Comets
16. AIN’T NO MOUNTAIN HIGH ENOUGH - Diana Ross / Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell

17. GLORIA - Cadillacs / Vito & The Salutations / others (combined*)
18. YOU BELONG TO ME - Duprees
19. DUKE OF EARL - Gene Chandler
23. HOLD ME, THRILL ME, KISS ME - Mel Carter
24. BLUEBERRY HILL - Fats Domino
26. JAILHOUSE ROCK - Elvis Presley
27. UP ON THE ROOF - Drifters
28. IT’S A MIRACLE - Barry Manilow
29. CHAPEL OF LOVE - Dixie Cups
30. RUNAWAY - Del Shannon
31. LOUIE, LOUIE - Kingsmen
32. BARBARA ANN - Regents / Beach Boys (combined*)
33. RAG DOLL - Four Seasons
34. YOU’VE LOST THAT LOVIN’ FEELIN’ - Righteous Brothers
35. TONITE, TONITE - Mello Kings
36. HEY THERE, LONELY GIRL - Eddie Holman
37. I’M A BELIEVER - Monkees
39. LOVE ME TENDER - Elvis Presley
41. HE’S SO FINE - Chiffons
42. OH, BOY! - Buddy Holly
43. WHY DO FOOLS FALL IN LOVE - Frankie Lymon & The Teenagers
44. CRIMSON AND CLOVER - Tommy James & The Shondells
45. SURFIN’ U S A - Beach Boys
46. YOU SEND ME - Sam Cooke
47. SOLDIER BOY - Shirelles
48. SEA CRUISE - Frankie Ford
49. (LET ME BE YOUR) TEDDY BEAR - Elvis Presley
51. YESTERDAY - Beatles
52. SHERRY - Four Seasons
53. (I CAN’T GET NO) SATISFACTION - Rolling Stones
54. THE TWIST - Chubby Checker
55. THE TEARS OF A CLOWN - Smokey Robinson & The Miracles
56. WIPE OUT - Surfaris
57. 96 TEARS - ? (Question Mark) & The Mysterians
58. LEADER OF THE PACK - Shangri-Las
59. SHE LOVES YOU - Beatles
60. CAN’T HELP FALLING IN LOVE - Elvis Presley
61. (YOU’RE MY) SOUL AND INSPIRATION - Righteous Brothers
62. LONG, LONELY NIGHTS - Lee Andrews & The Hearts
63. KICKS - Paul Revere & The Raiders
64. MY WAY - Frank Sinatra
65. HOUND DOG - Elvis Presley
66. MONSTER MASH - Bobby “Boris” Pickett & The Crypt-Kickers
68. SKY PILOT - Animals
69. BOOK OF LOVE - Monotones
70. IF I FELL - Beatles
71. THAT’LL BE THE DAY - Buddy Holly & The Crickets
73. BIG GIRLS DON’T CRY - Four Seasons
74. DAWN - Four Seasons
75. ALL SHOOK UP - Elvis Presley
76. SURFER GIRL - Beach Boys
77. GOOD VIBRATIONS - Beach Boys
78. OOH, BABY, BABY - Smokey Robinson & The Miracles
79. (SITTIN’ ON THE) DOCK OF THE BAY - Otis Redding
80. VALLERI - Monkees
81. BLUE MOON - Marcels

83. ANGEL BABY - Rosie & The Originals
84. OH, DONNA - Ritchie Valens
85. BECAUSE (I LOVE YOU) - Dave Clark Five
86. DOWNTOWN - Petula Clark
87. IMAGE OF A GIRL - Safaris
88. A TOWN WITHOUT PITY - Gene Pitney
89. THEME FROM ‘A SUMMER PLACE’ - Percy Faith and His Orchestra
92. WHAT’S YOUR NAME - Don and Juan
93. I THINK WE’RE ALONE NOW - Tommy James & The Shondells
94. MACK THE KNIFE - Bobby Darin
96. INCENSE AND PEPPERMINTS - Strawberry Alarm Clock
97. DAY TRIPPER - Beatles
98. SIXTY-MINUTE MAN - Billy Ward & His Dominoes
99. THE HUSTLE - Van McCoy
100. TURN TO STONE - Four Tops
Honorable Mention: (only barely missed the Top 100 - and way ahead of the rest of the pack): SORRY (I RAN ALL THE WAY HOME) - Impalas
(*combined = callers didn’t differentiate between which version they wanted or didn’t express a preference, i.e., said “either”)
MOST REQUESTED ARTISTS (combines individual songs requested with callers requesting, “Can You Play Anything By _________?”)
(Show aired Friday evenings, 6 p.m. - 9:55 p.m., from June, 1978 through February 1, 1980)(Heaviest areas of phoned-in requests, from recollection: South Philadelphia, Center City, Powelton Village / University City / West Philadelphia, Delaware County, South Jersey)Original List © 1980; This updated reprint © 2005, Bruce Scott

Killer Comments!
Thanks, Folk! We'll be having very limited postings here for a while ... because of a couple of other projects that require the bulk of my attention right now, I'll be taking a bit of a break from the day-to-day postings of Forgotten Hits. Please know that we hope to have some very exciting announcements to make in the near future ... and that we will post what we can, when we can over the next several weeks. In the meantime, watch for email updates as things develop. We encourage you to continue to send your comments and news releases to the email address, knowing that we will post whatever we can in a timely fashion ... but I apologize in advance for any delays that my current schedule may cause some of these announcements. Thank you for your continued support and understanding. (kk)